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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Chase Buchanan and Blaz Rola, members of the Ohio State men’s tennis team, will compete in the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Doubles Championship final Monday afternoon following a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win vs. Oklahoma’s Costin Paval and Dane Webb in the semifinals Sunday. The event is taking place at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
“We just tried to find a way,” Buchanan, a senior from New Albany, Ohio, said. “That’s the only thing I can say about it. We were struggling. I was extremely tight. I wasn’t making many balls and I was playing horribly in the first set. I think there were two huge turning points in both the second and third sets when we were down a break. They had chances to consolidate their break and they didn’t. Those games lasted seven or eight deuces a couple of times. We didn’t win a couple and we won a couple and those games were huge turning points. Once we broke back in the second set we rolled.”
The Buckeye pair will face Raony Carvalho and Gonzalo Escobar of Texas Tech in the title match at the conclusion of the men’s and women’s singles finals, which will begin at noon. Each of the NCAA championships matches will be streamed live on ncaa.com. Larry Smith will provide play-by-play and Harry Cicma will serve as the color analyst.
The No. 1 seed, Buchanan and Rola sealed the victory despite Paval and Webb rallying back from an Ohio State triple-match point. Tied 40-40, the Sooner tandem then held the advantage for the break, but Buchanan and Rola answered with three consecutive points for the victory. The Buckeye duo improves to 35-4 on the season.
“It’s awesome,” Buchanan said. “Playing at Ohio State has been amazing with the home support and having my family being around there. It’s something that special I don’t think a lot of people get to experience in their college careers. To be down here with the chance to win is pretty humbling.”
Earlier in the tournament, the unseeded Texas Tech team of Carvalho and Escobar knocked off No. 2 seed Steve Johnson and Roberto Quiroz of USC in the quarterfinals and prior to that victory beat Nos. 5-8 seeds Nick Andrews and Christoffer Konigsfeldt of California.
Rola also competed in one of four semifinal matches in the singles bracket Sunday afternoon. A Nos. 9-16 seed, the sophomore from Slovenia dropped a 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(1) match to No. 3 Eric Quigley of Kentucky. Rola completed the singles portion of the 2011-12 season with a 37-7 record.
“[Quigley] played a great third set,” Rola said. “My focus went down on that first double fault. I’m really disappointed on that tiebreaker, but overall I’m pretty happy with the way I played. It didn’t happen this year, but I’ll be back next year and try to win it. I’m going to play some summer tournaments, but my first decision is still to come back.”
2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Singles Championship
Sunday, May 27
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
First Round: Nos. 9-16 Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Olivier Borsos (LSU), 6-0, 6-0
Second Round: Nos. 9-16 Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Emilio Gomez (USC), 7-6(5), 6-3
Round of 16: Nos. 9-16 Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. No. 7 Dennis Nevolo (Illinois), 6-4, 6-3
Quarterfinals: Nos. 9-16 Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. No. 2 Mitchell Frank (Virginia), 7-6(5), 6-1
Semifinals: No. 3 Eric Quigley (Kentucky) def. Nos. 9-16 Blaz Rola (Ohio State), 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1)
2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Tennis Doubles Championship
Sunday, May 27
Dan Magill Tennis Complex
First Round: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Joey Burkhardt/Jose Hernandez (UNC), 7-6, 7-6
Round of 16: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Dennis Nevolo/Roy Kalmanovich (Illinois), 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-1
Quarterfinals: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. No. 7 Panav Jha/Eric Quigley (Kentucky), 6-3, 6-4
Semifinals: No. 1 Chase Buchanan/Blaz Rola (Ohio State) def. Costin Paval/Dane Webb (Oklahoma), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
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